Counterfeit checks circulating around Oahu

Marco Salem
Marco Salem

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Our tight economy is making some people desperate.

KHNL News 8 has learned of a recent scam involving American Savings Bank on Oahu.

As people go about their business at American Savings Bank, others are finding ways to make some quick cash at the bank's expense.

Bank customer Marco Salem was not aware of the scam until we told him about it. But he says from now on, he'll check any checks he gets in the mail.

"I'll go to the bank and check what this check is for, because if I did not sell anything or do any service to receive a check, I wouldn't even try to cash the check, because I didn't do anything for the check," he said.

The check has American Savings Bank's name and routing number printed on it.

Because the scam is fairly new, bank officials didn't want to show it.

They also fear more people might try to conduct their own scams.

Bank managers say unfortunately, counterfeit cashier's checks are quite common in the industry.

They released this statement to us:

"Although the circulation of these counterfeit checks has been found in limited numbers here in Hawaii, residents are being asked to be on the lookout for them. the counterfeit checks have the check number listed twice in the top-right corner."

For customers like Salem, it's a good reminder of the old saying, if it's too good to be true it probably is.

"I just hope people are aware there's nothing for free," he said. "If somebody sends you a check in the mail, just don't go and cash it, just call somebody who'll tell you whose check is that."

A similar scam happened just last month. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC reported that counterfeit cashier's checks with bank of Hawaii's name on it were also circulating. A warning for consumers to be very aware.